Once you have been assessed and you have decided to take up a Home Care Package you have to choose a Home Care Package provider to provide the care to you.
Choosing a provider
We have developed a checklist to assist you in choosing a provider
Once you have chosen a particular home care provider, the next step is to make a plan.
An adviser or case manager, who is employed by your home care provider, will work with you to help you get the support you need, the way you want it. Together you can settle on what the home care provider can offer or arrange as part of your ‘care plan’ to best meet your needs and preferences.
You will have your own interests and experiences and you will like to do things in a particular way. Your adviser will ask about these preferences as well as the important people in your life. This will help in planning the best possible options for you.
There might be some things you don’t want to share with your adviser. That’s absolutely fine. It’s your choice.
Starting a Home Care Package – What You Need to Know
Starting a Home Care Package is a handy tool that explains 4 main parts of establishing a Home Care Package Plan with your Care Provider. It covers The Assessment; The Care Plan; Goal Setting; and The Budget.
Thinking Through Your Choices
The next step is to really think about how you want to live, what your goals are and what’s most important to you to make your life as easy as possible. This will help your adviser to better understand you and your needs.
These are some questions you might consider in making your plan:
- What is important to me?
- What do I most enjoy doing?
- What makes my life enjoyable and meaningful?
- What’s good right now and what’s not?
- What’s preventing me from having an enjoyable and meaningful life?
- What’s missing? What would I have, if I could choose anything?
- What sorts of things might help to improve my day to day life?
- What support do I need to remain safe and well?
- Where and when do I want that support to be available?
- How do I want to be supported and by whom?
It might be the first time you’ve really sat down and thought about these things.
Here is the link to the video of Brian and Kathleen who share how they have used the package to improve the quality of life of Brian who has Parkinson’s Disease to improve his quality of life.
Video Brian and Kathleen
Deciding a plan
Working through your goals, interests and preferences will help you to make informed choices about the services and assistance you’d like to receive.
Whatever services you decide on will form your home care plan including:
- exactly what will be provided
- who will provide it
- the timing and frequency
- the cost of the services you will receive
- your contribution
- your income tested fee (if you’ve entred into Home Care after 1 July 2014)
- the costs your provider incurs in managing your home care package.
It’s really up to you and your adviser (and others too, if you want) to work out the best way to use the funds you have been allocated, to achieve what you want. And that can include getting services from another home care service provider or from somewhere else altogether.
You are in control and you get to make the final decisions, but it’s a partnership process to work out how to make it happen. That’s why your relationship with your home care service provider and your adviser is important.
When you first get a home care package the decisions you need to make can seem difficult. In the beginning you may let other people make decisions for you but as the service becomes more familiar you may wish to take more control and make more decisions for yourself.
Over time you may need or want to change your arrangements, like when, where and how often your service is delivered or perhaps who delivers your service. Your adviser will work with you to try to make that happen.
Deciding on who will make the arrangements
You are always in charge of your home care package but can choose to be really involved in managing your home care package or hardly involved at all. You might want to do your own research and make your own inquiries about different services and options or manage your own budgeting. You can also choose a representative to act on your behalf (this may be a relative, friend or advocate).
If you or your representative chooses to take charge of some of the administration involved with your package, such as record keeping or making your own appointments, that may reduce the amount you need to pay your home care provider, leaving more funds available for you to spend on other things.
You can also decide to have your adviser take care of arranging most things on your behalf if you wish. Or you might choose any combination of approaches to suit different situations and times.
Once you have agreed your care plan, the management of your package and any other details with your provider, it will be set out in a written agreement that you both sign. It is called a Home Care Agreement.
Making a Budget Plan
While you get to say how and when the funds for your home care package are spent, they are held by your home care provider. While costs and other elements might vary between different home care providers, they are all required to give you a monthly statement, clearly explaining:
- your available funds
- your monthly costs
- what you have spent
- the balance of funds remaining.
Your available funds are made up of:
- the Government’s subsidy (see Finding Home Care, How much support can I receive?)
- the Government Supplement (if eligible)
- the basic fee which all consumers receiving a Home Care package can be asked to pay
- your income tested care fee (if you’ve entered into Home Care after 1 July 2014) which you may need to pay depending on your assessable income (see Finding Home Care, How much support can I receive?)
- any other amount you have agred to pay your provider.
Remember all these costs will be discussed and agreed with you before they are recorded as part of your Home Care Agreement.